A New Journalism Opportunity for Students: the Greenburgh Student News Network

Sophie Halliburton

The town of Greenburgh is currently offering a new journalistic opportunity for high school, middle school, and elementary students. Created by Paul Feiner, the Greenburgh Town Supervisor, and Judith Beville, the Town Clerk, a student-run news outlet is available to those interested in being immersed in the world of writing, reporting, anchoring, and directing TV news. Since the opportunity is open to various grade levels, the news network will likely be divided into three news outlets–one for younger students, one for middle schoolers, and one for high schoolers. 

While the idea is still in developmental stages, the proposed program will give students the chance to get involved in local news and the freedom to highlight various issues in the community on their own accord. Mentored  by three NBC professionals, students will meet weekly throughout the rest of the school year (and hopefully into the summer and next school year) to produce monthly TV news broadcasts. The essential purpose of this news network is to serve as a reliable and enticing source of information for the citizens of Greenburgh, as well as to encourage free speech for adolescents. 

“We did this [student news network] about a decade ago, and it lasted for a little bit, but I think this time it’s going to be much more organized and focused because we have a lot more students interested,” said Mr. Feiner. 

In coming up with the idea, Mr. Feiner revealed that he feels “journalism has changed.” 

“We used to have Town Board meetings with reporters at each meeting, so there was much more coverage of local news,” said Mr. Feiner. “But now, everything is through social media more than reporting and I feel that students could fill in this need for journalism.” 

Emphasizing the importance of free speech, Mr. Feiner believes “scrutiny of the government” will be a crucial aspect of this news network, which will demonstrate the power of student voices. He also stressed the significance of multiple perspectives, and he hopes the news program will be “fair and objective.” 

Additionally, Mr. Feiner believes that this opportunity will give participating students “a leg up when they’re applying to college,” and will be “a great community service” for the town of Greenburgh. 

For any Hastings students who are potentially interested in being a part of the Greenburgh Student News Network, reach out to Paul Feiner via email ([email protected]) or Judith Beville ([email protected]).